Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Degree of Deficit with the NDP

As many of us blogger types are doing, we are riffing off of Vaughn Palmer's column about the NDP thoughts on spending.

The NDP do have a point when looking at the current BC budget, it is optimistic. I suspect we will see larger deficits this year and next. But where the NDP loses me is when they talk about cuts to the healthcare and education. Neither has happened. The NDP may not like how much money the Liberals have added to education and healthcare, but that does not turn increased government spending into budget cuts. I would have much more respect for the NDP if they got rid of the moronic spin masters that are suggesting some of their lines. Let Carole be Carole, it can be worse than the doublethink pablum they are dispensing.

I am also concerned that the NDP wants to abandon the carbon tax but not the tax shifting. The Liberals have done a zero sum with the carbon tax by tax shifting. Tax shifting has been an important concept on the left for about 20 years but few governments have been willing to do it. Now that there is a government in BC willing to do it, the NDP opposes tax shifting. But it is worse than that, the NDP is opposed to taking action on climate change issues by the method recognized globally as the most important tool to achieving the change.

The carbon tax is a great Pigovian tax - using taxation to marshal market forces for a public good. The NDP wants to get rid of it.

Losing the carbon tax will mean a big budgetary hole, I have no idea how they plan to fill it. Losing the carbon tax will also reduce demand for transit and force government to offer a higher subsidy to transit operators.

Dropping the carbon tax will return most of the money to the richest 10% of the population and businesses but I do not see them coming out and supporting the NDP for offering them a tax cut.

This bears saying clearly and dramatically:

The NDP plan for the Carbon Tax will help the rich the most and put us much deeper in debt.

As a quick estimate, based on what the NDP has been saying, in three years the NDP would add about $6 000 000 000 to $8 000 000 000 to the provincial debt. That is $1500 to $2000 more in debt per person in BC than what is going happen with the BC Liberals.

I may be a huge Phil Hochstein fan, but his line at Vote Smart BC - Wrong Leader. Wrong Party. Wrong Time. resonates with me.
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